Revamp your home on a budget

Caroline Cassidy

Given the economic climate, many Brits have been forced to put aside non-essential things such as home improvements in recent years. But revamping your home doesn't necessarily mean you need deep pockets. With a little planning, research and DIY, you can give your house a lift without breaking the bank.

Home renovation on a budget
Home renovation on a budget

Pic: Getty

Planning is everything
If you've got a vision for your property and fancy yourself as an amateur interior designer, it's all to easy to get carried away and rack up those credit card debts on unnecessary expenses.

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The key to budget renovation is to plan everything, budget for it, and make a note of all your purchases. Start a spreadsheet so that you know what money you've got to spend, what you've already spent, and what remains of your budget.

A little internet research will enable you to make a sensible estimate of what you can get for your money. Thereafter, there'll be no more 'it's only a light switch' arguments - even purchases as small and insignificant as a coat hook can add up if you're not careful, so keep a note of everything.

Take your time
Whilst it would be lovely to sit back in a couple of months and wonder at your now perfect home, financial constraints mean you will need to prioritise. Treat your renovation as a work in progress. Decide what your priorities are and start with those, because while a drab and dreary living room, or tattered and torn bathroom might irk you on a daily basis, the spare room can probably wait. And that gives you time to replenish the revamp fund as you go.

When old becomes new
That chest of drawers might look outdated, and the sofa an ill-advised 'fashion' choice, but if you're on a budget, making use of what you already have is the ideal way to brighten up your home.

If you have tired of your existing furniture, adding a coat of satinwood paint and sanding down the edges can give it a distressed rather than tired appearance, while the wonder that is YouTube is a handy little resource if you fancy trying your hand at creating a fabulous new lampshade or updating upholstered chairs.

Similarly, if sofas and armchairs are worse for wear, a simple throw can instantly transform their appearance, at least until you can afford that prize couch you've got your eye on. Even rearranging your furniture can quickly and easily give you a fresh perspective.

But if you really crave something different for your home, remember that one person's trash is another's treasure. Trawl the world or eBay, Gumtree or Freecycle for the furniture that others are keen to replace - you never know what hidden gems you might find.

Strip and sand
If you're lucky enough to find healthy floorboards under that stained carpet, a weekend of sanding (you can hire a machine for under £100) and varnishing will put your property on the fast track to fabulous.
In much the same vein, embossed, woodchip or sagging wallpaper can be stripped away. A little filling, sanding and a lick of fresh paint later and your home will start to feel like new. Keep costs to a minimum by opting for a low-cost colour and adding a chic hue or paper to one accent wall.

While you're waiting for the cash fund to finish your perfect property, get creative with photos for a personal feel, or unleash your creativity by painting your own canvas. It may take time to finish the project, but in the meantime, even the little things can make it feel like a whole new home.

What are your top tips for revamping your home on a budget? Leave your comments below...